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An ultrasound is a procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off the uterus thereby producing echoes. The echo patterns form a picture of the fetus, which is shown on the screen of an ultrasound machine.
2D ultrasound, sometimes referred to as "traditional" ultrasound, works by “listening” to sound waves in a single plain. The ultrasound is directed straight down and reflected back up again. 3D ultrasound works by a different process known as "surface rendering". The same sound waves used in 2D are sent down—this time at different angles. These reflections are interpreted through sophisticated software, and a 3D image of the fetus is instantly created. 3D ultrasound produces a life-like image instead of the usual flat picture from a 2D image. Surface details can now be visualized with remarkable clarity.
4D or four-dimensional ultrasound is the latest ultrasound technology. 4D ultrasound is captured in the same manner as 3D ultrasound. However instead of looking at a single still image produced by 3D ultrasound, 4D ultrasound enables you to view live “video” of the fetus in the womb. 4D takes three-dimensional ultrasound images and adds the component of time to the process, allowing visualization of the unborn baby in amazing real-time detail. The result: live action images of your unborn child.
Ultrasound has been safely used and widely accepted in obstetrics for over 35 years. Women having trouble with their pregnancy can safely undergo many ultrasound scans.
Advantages of 4D ultrasound
The examination time is shorter because the baby’s anatomy can be studied in any level from the stored computer image. Parts of the baby’s anatomy can be seen more clearly than with 2D ultrasound, especially the face, arms, legs, fingers and toes. The baby’s activities inside the womb can be seen, which are difficult or impossible to identify with 2D scanning. With 4D scanning, you can see the fetus yawn, cry, swallow, blink, and perform intricate finger movements.
4D Ultrasound offers parents the opportunity to see their babies like never before, creating an incredibly intimate bonding experience. Studies have shown that seeing your unborn baby can help alleviate maternal anxiety and depression as well as enable the father to feel more connected to the pregnancy, strengthening the bond with his child.
Diagnostic uses of 4D ultrasound
• Determine the age of the baby
• Analyze development of the baby
• Evaluate multiple pregnancies
• Detect structural problems of the uterus
• Detect abnormalities of the placenta
• Detect abnormal bleeding
• Determine ectopic pregnancy
• Detect ovarian tumor/fibroids
• Locate the placenta